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Camile Thai to open 15 sites in UK & Ireland this year with tech focus

Healthy Thai eatery franchised group, Camile Thai has revealed it is opening 15 locations this year in the UK and Ireland, with a focus on growth via technology.

The chain, which conducted a drone delivery last year, is raising £8.65m to implement a technology-centric strategy, which includes plans to automate its kitchen operations with robotics by year's end.

Founder Brody Sweeney said, 'Despite an extremely difficult year for the hospitality sector, for Camile 2020 has seen rapid growth. Our suburban, delivery-focused model has proven to be pandemic proof in the last eleven months, not least in terms of revenue and sales.

'It's allowed the chain to not only push expansion plans but also to prematurely move ahead with, what Sweeney called, its 'tech pivot.'

Sweeney added,'Our raison d'etre is delivering guilt-free, delicious takeaways — but for us, we see tech playing such an incremental role in terms of food preparation, but also UX and of course, delivery.'

2021 will also see Camile pushing forward with its 'franchise as a service' venture, which offers flexible franchise options for business owners with well-located but underused commercial kitchens, such as restaurants, bars and hotels, in regional towns.

Franchisees may offer Camile's delivery menu, allowing them to continue to operate despite future anticipated lockdown restrictions. The first such premises recently opened in Sligo, Ireland, and Camile aims to open five or six such outlets in the medium term, Sweeney said.

Founded in 2010, Camile has 35 outlets, including six in London, some of which are delivery only sites.